Sparkling wines are extremely food friendly and can brighten up an appetizer, entrée or dessert course. For a surprising and fun pairing, try bubbles with popcorn, potato chips or even fried chicken… yum! Of course, you may prefer to drink Champagne and nothing else, but Italy’s Prosecco and Spain’s Cava are two great, affordable options, perfect with more casual fare.
Prosecco is from Northern Italy and is predominantly made from Glera, a native Italian grape. This sparkling wine is produced differently than Champagne. Instead of creating the bubbles in the individual bottle as with Champagne, the sparkles are developed during a secondary fermentation in large pressurized tanks which minimizes the toasty notes. This is called the Charmat Method and results in an easy drinking wine with delightful fruit flavors and refreshing effervescence.
Cava, Spain’s famous sparkling wine, has its roots in the late 1800’s. Native Spanish grapes are used: Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada for white Cava, and Trepat, Garnacha & Monastrell (Mouvedre) for the rosé version. Cava is made in the “traditional” way, exactly the same as Champagne, where the second fermentation creating the bubbles is done in the bottle you are pouring from. Like Champagne you can get different levels of sweetness but the most common is the Brut style. Think “Brutally” dry vs. Extra Dry which actually has a hint more sweetness.
Both of these types of sparkling wine are a great value so you can enjoy them frequently, no need to wait for a special occasion!
Trio’s Somm recommends LaMarca Prosecco with a bouquet of apples and white peaches for $13.99 and Segura Viudas Brut Rose with notes of strawberry, pomegranate & cherry for $10.99.
“Good company, good wine, good welcome, can make good people” …William Shakespeare